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“If you're short on money or options”
Review of Aquario Hostel

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Aquario Hostel
Reviewed May 15, 2011

All things are relative in life and aquario is no exception. When we booked two nights here it was easter week and there was literally nowhere to stay on Ilha Grande. Luckily for us the chirpy, young and friendly desk manager had a private room for me and my friend - excellent we couldn't believe our good luck. Until we arrived - first we had to drag our suitcases across the beach as there is no path to the hostel (so make sure you get a taxi boat from the dock), I personally was also shocked by the state of the place when I arrived.

The infrastructure really needs some investment. The room was spartan but clean - the sheets and towels were threadbare and we had no bin (can't throw things down the toilet). The breakfast was ample but left on a counter and exposed to the sun and flies. I was clearly too old and spoilt for this place - there is a really friendly, youthful and laid back vibe here. It is run by a close family who really are characters. The old woman with the hoarse voice was brilliant - larger than life and like a sardonic old aunt who's seen everything in her time. This place has character in spades and they were very good to us.

This isn't the place to stay for luxury and chi chi hand towels. You come here if you are a student, hippie or a budget traveller. I am none of those things, so I wouldn't stay here again as I've done my time in hostels around the world...

It is bearable and pretty fun if you're not too fussed, and great for meeting outgoing, friendly open minded people to have good chats with.

  • Stayed: April 2011
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1  Thank sasswoir
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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52 - 58 of 178 reviews

Reviewed March 30, 2011

I can only agree with most of the previous posts - the place is a shame for this beautiful island and needs an urgent complete renovation. Although the receptionists were nice, they weren't able to make our stay more confortable. The room was tiny, the beds stank of mould, not to mention the terrible bathroom. The breakfast area was disastrous, I remember a Lady preparing the cheese and ham with a cigarette in her mouth - this was really scandalous! To be aware when booking this one - you really might regret it!

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank niuvois
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 7, 2010

A quirky place! The owner is very charismatic and fun to chat to. Cooking your own food is interesting - the gas hob in the kitchen is ancient, which I quite liked but found a bit of a challenge, however members of staff were helpful about that. Has a natural swimming pool, hammocks overlooking the water, a pool table and lots of places to sit around and chill. Great views from the dorms. Breakfast basic and filling. It's a nice 10 minute wander along the beach to get to the main town, also the hostel is on a main hiking trail. 3 negative points for me - the bunk beds were extremely precarious (I felt nervous sleeping on a bottom bunk due to the creaking and movement!), the party boat that arrives daily is a pain in the ears unless you're a fan of trashy euro techno, and the transfer I'd booked from Rio never showed up which meant an expensive and stressful journey there. They were apologetic but offered no reimbursement or discount which I thought would've been fair.

  • Stayed: August 2010, traveled with friends
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Thank rumandcake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 1, 2010

The hostel (i would not call it a pousada!) was dirty and needed a paint. The Young owner seemed to be helpfull but was'nt. He said to help us in the morning to get a taxi boat but he was not there. We had to walk one kilometer with heavy luggage while i had a problem with my feet.

  • Stayed: July 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank pepertje
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 2, 2009

We made the mistake of not looking this place up on tripadvisor before going (1st mistake). It was recommended by a friend who stay 5 years ago. What a massive disappointment. The location is beautiful but the place is in serious need of a clean and some investment. We were made to pay for the room (double) up front (6 nights). If you do stay make sure you inspect the room before handing over the money (2nd mistake). The room could only be described as a mouldy sardine can. It had a double bed jammed in between a bunk bed and a air-conditioning unit that didn’t work (so barely any room to move let alone put your bags). The sheets were dirty and thin, the bed was so old and so used that it was seriously sunken in the middle (so much so that you roll into the middle and the sheets slide off, i got a sore back) and there was mould on the walls. The bathroom wasn’t much better. a depressing room to say the least. The room smelt of mould and you felt dirty when getting out of the shower. Basically the room made us so depressed that we considered leaving the island on the next available ferry and it made my girlfriend cry.
Following the first night of non sleep we told them that we will be checking out early (couldn’t find accommodation the second night so had to stay another night). We were told we would be given a refund. To be fair they did make an effort to have us stay by offering us a nicer room. They even came into our room and removed the bunk beds and replaced the mattress with a not so sunken one which we appreciated but it was to little to late. After the efforts they made to keep us the woman that runs the place was quiet angry when we left the next day. We didn’t get a full refund (3/4 nights refund) but we didn’t want to hang around to argue the point as we were so happy to be leaving. As we were leaving the young guy behind the counter apologised and even admitted that our room was terrible and that the rooms on the ground floor are nicer. Fair enough.
All in all not much positive to say about the place. Its a real shame as it has such potential with the great location. The place needs attention and they could start by removing all the mold and replacing the horrible beds.
We moved into a much nicer place which immediately lifted our spirits.

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank DommelUk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 13, 2009

When you arrive and see the location it is amazing. However, that is all this place has to offer, the dorm rooms aren't that good and the place seems run down, for sure a a party place and yes we noticed the owner also trying to pull his guests. If you want cheap so so accommodation and party this is the place for you. They have BBQ once a week with a good band.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with friends
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Thank jonstravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 23, 2009

Lovely location
Owner who tries to pull all the girls..hence.....
...Parties and bands most nights, but cheesy English and American music. Noisy if you want to sleep.
Damp rooms with the odd cockroach,
Quite a cheap bar.
Not far from the ferry.
I would only recommend it to certain people!!

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with friends
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Thank Raquel84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Aquario Hostel

Address: Praia da Julia, Vila do Abraao, Ilha Grande, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Location: Brazil > State of Rio de Janeiro > Ilha Grande > Vila do Abraao
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 25 Specialty Lodging in Vila do Abraao
Price Range: $36 - $153 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 8
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Also Known As:
Aquario Hostel Ilha Grande/Vila Do Abraao

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